Food labelling e-learning course
Fortified foods

Fortified foods

Label showing quantities of vitamins and minerals

Foods may be voluntarily fortified with vitamins and minerals. For example, this may be done to restore what has been lost during manufacture, storage or handling procedures. Fortification may also be used or required to give a substitute food a similar nutritional value to the food it replaces.

Addition of vitamins and minerals

The general rules on fortification are for the voluntary activity and don't apply where addition is required by law. Nor do they apply to food supplements or to the use of vitamins and minerals for additive purposes controlled by specific legislation.

Only permitted vitamins and minerals can be added to foods. These must be in a bio-available form, and an approved vitamin formulation or mineral substance listed on the label.

To ensure that fortification is beneficial to health, the final food must contain at least a significant amount of the vitamin or mineral unless the fortification was purely to restore processing losses and no nutrition or health claim is made. What constitutes a significant amount of a vitamin or mineral is defined in the FIC.

Labelling

Wherever a vitamin or mineral has been voluntarily added to a product, nutrition labelling is required. This should include the total amount of vitamin or mineral in the final food, inclusive of the naturally occurring amount.

Statements about vitamins and minerals must comply with the nutrition and health claims regulation. Consumers should not be misled on the true nutritional merit of the food. Any labelling must not state or imply that a balanced diet can't provide appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Addition of other substances

Substances other than vitamins and minerals, that have a nutritional or physiological effect, are within the scope of the general rules on fortification but no controls on specific substances have yet been imposed. The rules allow such controls to be developed on a case by case basis as and when the need arises.